Russian mills chase slab and HRC orders in the Black Sea market

Russian flat steel exporters were looking for orders for their slab and hot-rolled coils, with Turkey the target market, sources said.

The lowest HRC offers from a large Russian supplier, sanctioned in the EU market, were heard at $610-$620/mt CFR Turkey, a mill source reported. He added that Asian offers were between $640-$660/mt CFR Turkey.

A Turkish importer reported another Russian mill to be asking $630/mt CFR for its HRC. This was quite an attractive price compared with the domestic HRC prices ranging $660-$690/mt ex-works. Despite the seemingly attractive price level for Russian HRC, “the risk is increasing for Russian material, so I don’t know if anyone is interested. The demand is still so slow,” the importer added.

Russian slab prices were also much lower than the competition. A slab sale, for November shipment, was reported at $510/mt CFR Izmir, for a large cargo, possibly 30,000 mt, a trader said. An offer from a different supplier was also heard at $500/mt CIF Aliaga, for December shipment.

According to a European buyer, the $500-$510/mt CFR Turkey range for Russian slab was reasonable for the Turkish market. He also cited slab prices from India at $600/mt CIF Europe and from Brazil at $620/mt CIF Europe.

A market observer said that offers from Brazil and India were between $580-$600/mt CFR Turkey. A Turkish buyer said that Brazilian offers should be higher than $600/mt CFR Turkey.

Some Russian exports were also seen in Asia, with a few lots sold in the spot market at $600-$610/mt CFR Thailand, the market observer said. Saudi and Iranian slab prices were at $540-$550/mt CFR Mediterranean, he added.

An African slab importer said that buying from Russia became complicated because of financing issues. He put recent Russian slab price indications at $430-$440/mt FOB Black Sea. “Based on HRC prices today, slab should be $420/mt FOB Black Sea,” the importer said.

— Wojtek Laskowski